Home Secretary Theresa May has declared her support for a campaign led by Enfield MPs to amend a knife crime bill.

The change in the Criminal Courts and Justice Bill would see a mandatory four-month detention order imposed on under 18s caught carrying a knife for a second time.

Ms May believes that it is “key” that action is taken and the amendment, by Enfield North MP Nick de Bois and Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes is passed.

Asked by the Enfield Independent if she supported the amendment, the senior Conservative said: “I think we should have mandatory sentence for somebody who has carried a knife for the second time. I have a difference in view from some members of the coalition.

“It is so important to sent a very clear signal that this is something that you should not be doing and we need to send a clear framework to everyone. Sending a clear signal is key.”

Ms May was in Enfield this morning to visit shops and businesses on Hertford Road ahead of Thursday's council and European elections and to gauge support for the MPs' proposed amendment.

She also visited knife crime campaigner Yvonne Lawson, who lost her son Godwin at the age of 17, when he was fatally stabbed in 2010.

When asked about if she was confident that more MPs would join her in supporting the bill, she added: “I always say I don’t like to predict votes but I would hope people see the sense in this and come together and say we need to give a very strong signal.

“In Parliament we can say that there is this matter on our streets, and it has been reducing, the met have done good work but there needs to be that clear signal.”